(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 13 November, 2019) Today, the center of TD "RAMON" was estimated at 515 km East of Borongan, Eastern Samar (12.2N,130.1E), with maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 70 km/h. It is moving West Northwest at 15 km/h. Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Localized Thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds from Northwest to Southwest with slight to moderate seas. PAGASA/jpf

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

400-meter Surigao airport runway rehab to finish in November

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 10 (PIA) - Despite rainy season, the Pacific Concrete and VT Lao, the two contractors for the repair of the Surigao City's runway promised to finish the initial 400 meters portion by November of this year, while the remaining 700 meters is due on February next year.

During the second visit and inspection of Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) at the Surigao City Airport, with the presence of Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Surigao City manager Junelito Abrazado and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) officer-in-charge Abner Caga, the said contractors assured that schedule of the repair is on track.

Once the 400-meter repair will be accomplished, other airline companies like the Philippine Airlines will now have its regular flight schedule for Manila to Surigao and vice versa. At present, the airport only utilizes the 1,000 meters runway, hence, only the Cebu Pacific could fly and land with limited flight to and from Cebu City.

The establishment of the concrete and batching plant for the rehabilitation project is expected by the 2nd week of September, which will speed up the runway reblocking and asphalting for the initial 400 meters expected to be completed by November, while 10.26 percent has already been completed for the asphalt overlay for the slope correction of other parts of the runway.

Meanwhile, Sec. Andanar stressed that he works closely with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), CAAP, PIA and other members of the Ad-Hoc team to regularly monitor and inspect the said airport to ensure its full completion by February 2020.

It can be recalled that the provincial government of Surigao del Norte and Surigao City Chamber of Commerce requested the secretary to intervene and help fast track the rehabilitation of the airport's runway.

The widening of Surigao City Airport begun in October 2015 but did not proceed as planned as Herbana Builders declared bankruptcy and left the project hanging. (JPG/PCOO/PIA-Caraga)

DepEd, AFP converge to save youth from terrorism

By 1Lt. Krisjuper Punsalan

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Sept. 10 -- The Department of Education (DepEd) Bayugan City Schools Division, Agusan del Sur College (ADSCO), Father Saturnino Urios College Inc. (FSUCI), Bayugan National Comprehensive High School (BNCHS), in cooperation with the 3rd Special Forces (Arrowhead) Battalion (3SFBn), Philippine Army team up to intensify awareness against the Communist NPA Terrorists’ (CNTs') deceptive youth recruitment scheme in Bayugan City.

With the current issue on the CNTs' recruitment of minors which caused national concern, the schools in Bayugan City expressed their support to help in the information campaign through reproducing tarpaulins and posting it on their respective school grounds so that youth and parents will become more aware and vigilant on the deceptive recruitment scheme of the CNTs.

The poster clearly conveys a strong note: “CPP/NPA/NDF, Hands off our Children! Stop the deceptive recruitment!” which is the battle cry of the government and the people, and most especially of the parents who would not want their children to fall prey in the long list of atrocities committed by these Communist NPA terrorists.

DepEd Bayugan City Schools Division, which covers 56 elementary schools and 10 secondary schools is headed by Dr, Imelda Sabornido, ADSCO is represented by Office of the Students Affairs Dean Melody Cabilogan, and Father Saturnino Urios College Incorporated is led by its Principal, Chereil Martel.

Lieutenant Colonel Joey Baybayan, commanding officer of 3SFBn expressed his gratitude towards the education sector in Bayugan. “We are grateful to the teachers and schools who are with us towards our campaign to end local communist armed conflict in our area of operations. We hope that other education sectors in the whole Agusan and Surigao del Sur will follow this example to protect our children from being deceived by the Communist NPA Terrorists,” he said. (3SFBn, PA/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

MGB 13 conducts awareness campaign in Cabadbaran City

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 10 -- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 13 conducted an awareness campaign in the barangays of Puting Bato, Del Pilar and Comagascas, Cabadbaran, City on August 14 to 16, 2019.

The Awareness on Mineral Resources and Geosciences and IEC Campaign on Gender and Development aimed to heighten the Sangguniang Barangays’ awareness of the regulatory functions of the MGB 13 and the socioeconomic contributions of the local minerals industry to the region. 

The conduct of Awareness and Advocacy on Mineral Resources and Geosciences Development (MRGD) is one of the major programs of the MGB 13. It is formulated to intensify Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaign in Caraga Region. It is also aimed at strengthening ties and partnerships with various stakeholders particularly the barangay local government units. The Officials and Staff of the aforementioned barangays participated in the activity. 

On the same note, the identified geohazards in the aforesaid barangays were presented in order to strengthen the disaster risk reduction and management capabilities of the barangay local government units. Furthermore, the MGB 13 Gender and Development Focal Point System presented its gender equality and women’s empowerment goals to recognize the important roles of women in various aspects of development.

The participants’ awareness of the following topics were heightened with presentations and discussions – Mining Policies and Tenement Updates; Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program; Employment and Taxes derived from Mining; Social Development and Management Program; Geohazards and Geology and Gender and Development. 

At the end of the presentations, an open forum ensued wherein the participants raised issues and concerns in relation to the topics discussed.  While there are no existing mining operations in the aforementioned barangays, a few participants asked about mining issues which just goes to show that they are not totally unaware of the minerals industry.

Barangay Captains Joel Embalsado of Puting Bato, Acrecia Camarin of Del Pilar and Jumar Mendaros of Comagascas expressed their appreciation of the purposeful activity as well as their gratitude for the good opportunity to have established a linkage with the MGB 13. (MGB 13/PIA Caraga)

DSWD Caraga completes 1st sem payout for social pension beneficiaries

By Daryl D. Anunciado

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 10 - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga has completed the first semestral payout for beneficiaries of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Program.

The payout in 73 local government units in the region for first semester was completed, despite the delay of the release of stipend due to the cleansing of the database to get rid of unqualified beneficiaries.

The Social Pension Program Management Office (SPPMO) Caraga has served 114,143 qualified beneficiaries amounting to P342,429,000.

Of the 121,980 beneficiaries with payroll, only 7,837 were not able to claim their pensions since they are out of town, hospitalized and are living in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.

To accomplish the 140,000 target beneficiaries this year, DSWD Caraga is set to release the stipend on the second semester to the remaining 18,020 beneficiaries amounting to P54,060,000, along with the 7,837 unpaid beneficiaries.

For the second semester, DSWD Caraga has reminded representatives of beneficiaries, who could not make it to payout venues due to severe illnesses, to claim their P3,000 semestral pension by bringing requirements such as medical certificate (with doctor’s license number), Pagtugot Form signed by the Local Social Welfare Development Officer, original and photocopy of any valid government-issued IDs of both the beneficiary and the representative.

Family members of beneficiaries, who died since July 1 this year, can also claim the stipend of their deceased kin. Requirements in claiming the said pension are death certificate, warranty of release form, original and photocopy of ID of the claimant.

Senior citizens are advised not to go to DSWD Field Office to claim their pension. DSWD Caraga will only release stipend in designated areas on specific dates.

DSWD Caraga is working overtime to ensure that beneficiaries receive their pension the soonest.

The Social Pension program provides a monthly stipend amounting to P500 to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens. This is in line with the fulfillment of the government’s obligation to the most vulnerable sector through social protection and for the full implementation of Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

132 AgNor youth leaders join YLS

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Sept. 10 -- The 29th Infantry “Matatag” Battalion in partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the local government unit of Remedios Trinidad Romualdez (RTR) molded another batch of youth leaders through the Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) held at the municipality of RTR, Agusan del Norte.

Richard P. Daquipil, Municipal Mayor of RTR graced the closing ceremony of the three-day YLS event which was attended by 132 youth leaders coming from the three Conflict-Affected Areas (ConAAs) of San Antonio, Tagbungabong and Balang-balang, all from the municipality of RTR.

The YLS aims to level up the leadership skills of the youth for them to effectively work towards peaceful nation-building and fostering a drug-free community, and to develop them to become role models for other youths.

Mary Jane, one of the YLS participants, thanked the organizers for spearheading the said event in their area. “Dako akong pasalamat sa 29IB, PNP ug panggamhanan sa RTR tungod nianing YLS nga ginbuhaton nga siyang mitabang para maabrihan ang among alimpatakan sa kamatuoran nga walay maayong tumong ang NPA sa amo ug sa among barangay ug dili namo pagatugutan pag usab nga malingla nila kami, kahibalo nami sa kamatuoran. (I extend my deepest gratitude to the soldiers of 29IB, PNP and LGU of RTR. Because of this activity, we realized that the NPA will not do any good to us and our barangay. We will no longer allow them to deceive us, for we already know the truth)," she said.

Meanwhile, Bernarditha B. Daquipil, Sangguniang Member of RTR urged the youth to take stand against the NPA. “Dili nato pasagdan nga tangtangon sa mga NPA ang atong prinsipyo dapat magkahiusa ta nga mubarog para batukan ang sakto ug kamaturan. Kamo ang makaawhag sa inyong isig ka kabatan-on nga unta magkahiusa ta para ang kalinaw makab-ot sa atong munisipyo sa RTR. (Let us not allow the NPA to take away our principles, but rather let us all take a stand in upholding that which is good and true. You are the ones who can help encourage other youths to cooperate to attain peace in the municipality of RTR)," she said,

“This YLS activity will help you widen your perception of your role in the community and help you learn how to become strong and productive citizens of your barangay," Mayor Daquipil said to the participants.

Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, Commanding Officer of 29IB, also emphasized the importance of the young people in his message, saying “youth, always bear in mind that the greatest wealth and strength of any nation is you. The quality of a nation's youth determines the kind of future the nation will have. And the best and foremost way to strengthen you is to educate you. Not just with any kind of education, but the right kind of education such as this YLS which will equip you in making the right choices and decisions and for you to avoid being deceived by the NPA." (29IB Philippine Army/PIA Agusan del Norte)

AgNor guv supports Army's goal to wipe out NPA

By 1Lt. Roel T. Maglalang

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte, Sept. 10 -- Governor Dale B. Corvera of this province assured his full support to the troops of 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion in ending New Peoples Army (NPA) terrorists during his recent visit at the 23IB headquarters, Jamboree Site, P-6, Brgy. Alubihid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

Governor Corvera lauded the 23IB in ending local communist armed conflict in its area of operation. He said the humanitarian activities and youth sector engagements prevented the NPA recruitment, hence, he was optimistic and elated as he expressed full support to the advocacy of the unit.

“You give your lives to your country, and I admire you for that, civilians like us must be grateful to the services you gave to the Filipino people. The AFP and PNP now have been very professional and disciplined. You offered your lives but it should not be you who will sacrifice because of the inadequate government services,” Corvera said.

Corvera also enjoins local officials to complement and also support the troops because insurgency problem is not only a sole responsibility of the AFP and PNP but it is the fight of everybody.

“As your governor of Agusan del Norte, I am committing my full support not only to the fight against insurgency but also for your operations. I will do my best to squeeze a part of my resources so that every LGUs will immerse in the Barangays and deliver prompt and appropriate services to the people,” Corvera added.

Meanwhile, 23IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Francisco Molina welcomed the assurance of support to the unit and conveyed his sincere gratitude to the governor.

“Due to the support from the provincial government of Agusan del Norte, the 23IB "Masigasig" Troopers will exert its best efforts to accomplish its mission in defeating the threat group and end the local communist armed conflict in its area of operation particularly in Agusan del Norte,” Molina added. (CMO Officer, 23IB PA/PIA Agusan del Norte)